So I’ll admit it. Like many sewists have already admitted, it was the safiya dungarees that drew me to the new Tilly and the Buttons book most. This surprises precisely no one as my love of dungarees is widely known. What did surprise me though was that, when I’d finished them, I really wasn’t sure about them.
Usually with Tilly patterns (and yes I know this is the third tilly pattern blog in a row) I can decide by looking at the pattern whether I’m going to like it on me or not. For example: Bettine ✔ Coco ✔ I know both of these patterns (among others) suit me and are comfy to wear. Conversely, I know that the Etta dress is too fancy for me and the Orla blouse is too high cut to flatter my ample bust. I’ve been sewing for years now and I know what suits me and what I should just ignore. Or so I thought.
My flirtations with Make it Simple began with the Suki dress. I had some gorgeous bright teal linen look cotton and thought it would be a nice summer dress. I finished it beautifully but it looks horrendous on. It’s too much over my bust and makes me feel enormous. I’m going to refashion it into an ogden cami dress hack. Next up was the Tabitha T-shirt. I used a striped black and white Jersey with black rib for the neckband. Despite the hell that was stripe matching, it is a very comfy and wearable top. Think I’ll make a size down next time but that’s the way it goes.
Next I figured I’d tackle the Safiya, opting for the dungarees rather than trousers. I had some lovely black crinkle viscose with a pink tropical flower print. Let me tell you crinkle viscose is lovely to wear but awful to cut and sew. It moved all over the place of its own accord. I’m going to go ahead and assume this is why I so many issues with the pattern fitting together. The trousers were largely fine but the bottom edge was wildly uneven at the side seams. No clue what happened there. The bodice was okay but I think I mucked up the darts as it was a bit of a palaver getting the side seams to fit.
Joining them together went okay. Straps and facing was where it went to pieces. As I discovered playing sewing rebel bingo from the love to sew podcasts Instagram story, notches are often ignored by sewists, me included. I have started however to see their value recently, and I wish to god I’d just remembered to snip them in on the bodice and facing. The facing was altogether too small for the bodice and there was a certain amount of discrete pleating going on to make it fit. Then the straps were sewn on wrong about 3 times. I eventually got it right and then the front of the bodice was super gapey (I’m talking, if I wasn’t wearing a top underneath bending down to tie my shoe would have resulted in a massive boob avalanche). I fixed that with a couple of tucks into the front next to where the straps are. It’s not the neatest but fortunately the dark colour and print hide my multitudinal sins.
I decided from the beginning to make the length as per the pattern to see where the legs fall on me without adjustment. As it is, with a small hem, they hit just the top of my foot/ mid ankle. They aren’t long but aren’t short like culottes. I will definitely make my next pair culotte length and then work out how much to add to make them floor length (my preferred length for wide leg trousers). But when I wore them as they are my mum assured me that they didn’t look odd.
So while I was sewing these dungarees I saw a reminder about the #sewingbeestyle competition run by @sewistandthecity on Instagram. I had absolutely meant to take part and had never settled on what to make. This fit the bill perfectly, channeling both holiday week and children’s week. So I decided to get them finished and wore them to my cousin’s socially distant 21st birthday (gin in his garden) where they got lots of compliments and my uncle took a picture for me to submit them to the competition.
Just a bit of fun I always think, I never win anything. I always enter the comps both the ones with random selection and with actual winners. I’m just not a winner. Or at least until this one, because I won a prize! I was so surprised and so giddy. I had so many mixed feelings about these dungarees. Guess I still do but I am decidedly more positive about them now that other people feel they are prize worthy.
I might just not make them again for a while.